Manchester talks many languages
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“We expect politicians to be leaders and to encourage us to do great things, but what happens is that politicians actually follow. They listen to focus groups because they want votes, so they’re actually listening to the common denominator which is often rather unattractive. They’re not listening to great souls who challenge the way we behave and are visionaries.”
We all talk about the Holocaust still. There have been God knows how many horrors since, but that has been a constant reminder to the world, it always come back to that.
“You couldn’t look at European legislation and say that it’s all good or all bad. I think there’s a lot of work to be done in reforming the way in which the European institutions work. “
“I find our culture a bit quick to rush to judgement; we seem to be becoming increasingly judgemental. Maybe it is the result of email and the internet and Twitter, people are very quick to give you a 140-character judgement on something.“
“One should not forget that democracies can be persecuting societies and within my lifetime, homosexuals and people of a different colour were submitted to quite serious persecution. I am glad that public opinion has changed. But since that public opinion governs a democracy, it is entirely dependent on how liberal that opinion may be.”
“Democracy has significant problems for minority groups especially where these groups lack the resources or acumen to advocate effectively for their interests.“
“I think that oftentimes it is better for the State to empower actors within the society than to do it themselves, because the State is not an adaptive, lithe creature; when it steps in, it’s a big step. So oftentimes I’d like to see it step in by empowering actors in the arena, without the State actually sticking itself into it.”
“When there is a threat to independence, you have to raise it as an issue because making an independent judgment is crucial. I don’t really know if our judiciary are independent to be honest. If they are appointed by their profession they are independent, but if they are appointed by the Government, there is really a breakdown of that expected independence. “
“The responsibility of being citizens and recognising that every other citizen has individual rights just like them, to take part in civil life and contribute to community life as much as they are able to do so.”
“I think an elected second Chamber would be a retrograde step. It is one Parliament, not two Parliaments, two Houses which complement each other. They shouldn’t be rivals. The elected House should have the last word. “